other children rude to your child - what to do? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have an incredibly social and outgoing almost 3 yr old daughter (she's an only child).  She loves meeting new children and playing.  Whenever we are out, whether the playground, walking around town, at the farmers market, when she sees other children, she wants to say hello and to meet them.  However, what we're experiencing a lot is other children ignoring her or being rude to her.  This happens a lot!  She'll go up to a child and say "hi, I'm Stella, what's your name?"  And the other child often does not respond or walks away and ignores her.  It seems to be worse when the other child is a couple of years older than her, but it happens with kids her age as well.  Sometimes, when the other kid's parents are there, they'll say "say hi."  Sometimes they don't.  She seems confused when this happens and sometimes will repeat what she just said and just get the same response.  I worry that her feelings are being hurt and that repeated rejections will stifle her social and outgoing nature.  I am uncertain on how to handle this.  Should I discuss the incident with her after it happens?  She doesn't ask me why it happens, but I can tell she's disappointed and sad.  What would I say?  That the other child wasn't being nice?  How do I get her away from the other child when she insists on trying to say hi?  Do I say something to the other child?


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#2 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 08:37 AM
 
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How cute! I think I would just wait and see how long it lasts... I don't think she will be stifled--she will just learn to pick up on others' social cues. Learning that is pretty complex and takes a lot of trial and error.

 

Does she have a community (preschool or other group) where she can foster friendships and build relationships with other children?


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#3 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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She's been taking Music Together classes since she was 6 or 7 months old.  She's known all the kids there since then - it's usually the same core group and a couple of new kids every new session.  No other formal classes, but we go to the playground and have an occasional play-dates (my husband and I both work and my parents, who are with her during the day, aren't up for play-dates). 


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#4 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 08:44 AM
 
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I don't know that it's other kids being "rude" exactly - some kids that age get stranger anxiety or are just shy.  My 3 year old is kind of hit or miss about things like that.  I encourage her to reciprocate communication, but I can't force her either.

 

Honestly, I think it's just part of early childhood that all kids face, and it likely won't have any lasting effects on your daughter's socialization.


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#5 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 08:51 AM
 
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Usually I don't think young children are intentionally "rude", I think that is a label we adults give to our interpretation of the behavior. The behavior you describe could have many different meaning, here are the first that pop into my head:

 

*Stranger anxiety

*The child takes a while to warm up to a new playmate

*The child is busy playing and doesn't feel like talking at the moment

*The child may only want to play with other children whom are similar in age


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#6 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I used the word "rude" because I didn't know how else to describe it - as an adult I would label someone rude if I said hello to them and they ignored me.  However, I certainly would never label a 3-year old rude, but I do think that a 7 or 8 year old knows that it is polite to say hi when someone says hi to you.  I don't expect other kids to want to play with my daughter, but when they seem to completely ignore her, it mades me very sad for her. 


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#7 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 10:09 AM
 
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I used the word "rude" because I didn't know how else to describe it - as an adult I would label someone rude if I said hello to them and they ignored me.  However, I certainly would never label a 3-year old rude, but I do think that a 7 or 8 year old knows that it is polite to say hi when someone says hi to you.  I don't expect other kids to want to play with my daughter, but when they seem to completely ignore her, it mades me very sad for her. 


I don't know... if someone walked up to me-- my age or whatever... and said "Hi What is your name?" while I was going about my business at the farmer's market, etc. I don't think I would feel obligated to respond. And yes, I might ignore them.  Does that make me rude?

 

And 7 or 8 year olds are not mini adults, they are still children . . .  and expecting them to respond to your child's whim so that she is never sad seems like a steep expectation. A child ignoring a stranger when they do not want to speak with them isn't really offensively impolite. Again, it goes back to social cues. Is the other child making eye contact with your child? Are they sharing an experience--other then being in the same space?

 

I think I would just explain that some people are just minding their own business, perhaps they are just enjoying their interior space and do not want to talk.  But to make them out as rude or make it seem like your child is harmed seems to be doing a bigger disservice then these other children keeping to themselves.

 

Part of life is realizing that yes, sometimes people will ignore you. But it shouldn't cause you harm or always be perceived as ill-mannered. And these strangers don't seem like they are acting to deliberately harm your child.

Perhaps she could participate in a 1/2 day preschool?

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#8 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 10:18 AM
 
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how is this of any use? The OP talked about being out in public-playground, street etc.

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Perhaps she could participate in a 1/2 day preschool?

 

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#9 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 10:19 AM
 
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I have a four year old daughter who hates when people come and interrupt what she's doing.  She is typically really concentrating on whatever she's doing and is not willing or able to break off and welcome the interruption from someone talking to her.  She is also in preschool and engages in lots of structured and unstructured socializing with a very diverse range of kids (age and abilities).  When she's out with me or DH, she's very invested in playing whatever we are playing.  So, when a kid approaches her at the playground, farmers market, etc... she doesn't want to play with them.  Her solution is not to reply because she knows that once she starts talking she's likely to have to play with them even though she doesn't want to.  She's trying to work on saying "Hi.  I don't want to play right now."  But, sometimes that's not enough to shake off the friendly kid! 

 

I offer this detailed glimpse into my DD's mindset because I hate the idea that you'd tell your daughter that mine was being rude.  She wasn't!  She isn't thinking mean things about the other kid.  She is just busy and invested in doing her own thing.  And, I think it would hurt your daughters feelings to think that everyone is walking around being rude to her! 


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#10 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 10:22 AM
 
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My daughter is the same way and she's also an only.  She would walk up, introduce herself, and ask the other child's name.  Blank stare.  Don't people teach their children basic manners?  It's just odd to me that a three year old can't say, "hi, I'm Jack."  I'm sure there are a few children with actual anxiety, but I think lots of people just don't teach their children how to be polite and function in a world that has other people in it. 
 

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#11 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sometimes she chooses to say "hi, my name is ..., what's your name."  Sometimes, it's just "hi".  And yes, if I was at a farmers market and an adult stranger shopping at the same table said hello or good morning, I would think it rude not to reply.  I think it's just common courtesy and I want to teach my daughter how to be courteous to others.  Saying hello in response isn't implying that we will have a conversation or become friends; it's just acknowledging another person, a member of my community.  That's how I was raised.  I'm not expecting the kids to want to play with her.  Nor am I trying to shield her from all life's pain.  I was looking for ways to either address the situation as it is happening or later, one-on-one with DD. 

 

I wish I could change the topic line of this thread to remove the word rude...


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#12 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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NiteNicole, thank you for your post.  I was starting to feel like an alien here. 


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#13 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 10:35 AM
 
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 Blank stare. 

 

 

this is what we find from the MAJORITY of children- very very few talk, let alone say "hi"- all types of public setting (playground, FM, grocery, general stores, streets- you name it) and I will say (I am an older mom) this is NEW!

 

 

 

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I have a four year old daughter who hates when people come and interrupt what she's doing.  She is typically really concentrating on whatever she's doing and is not willing or able to break off and welcome the interruption from someone talking to her.  She is also in preschool and engages in lots of structured and unstructured socializing with a very diverse range of kids (age and abilities).  When she's out with me or DH, she's very invested in playing whatever we are playing.  So, when a kid approaches her at the playground, farmers market, etc... she doesn't want to play with them.  Her solution is not to reply because she knows that once she starts talking she's likely to have to play with them even though she doesn't want to.  She's trying to work on saying "Hi.  I don't want to play right now."  But, sometimes that's not enough to shake off the friendly kid! 

 

 

I don't think this example speaks to the majority of children. 


 

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#14 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 10:38 AM
 
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I don't think this example speaks to the majority of children. 


Why not? 


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#15 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 10:55 AM
 
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Is your 3 year old's speech very clear? Is there a chance the kids don't understand what she's saying? Granted "Hi" is pretty easy to understand, but "Hi, my name's Stella what's your name" might be hard in toddler speak.
 

Also, what are the ages of the kids she's approaching. Another 2 and under, maybe even a young 3 and under might not be able to speak as well as she.

 

My son is also very social, and he says high to everyone as well. To be honest, I can't even really recall if people respond back. Adults usually do. I really wouldn't worry about her being stifled. Maybe you could explain to her that some kids are shy and take some time to warm up before talking to others, or some young kids can't talk yet. (obviously I wouldn't say this right in front of the other kid though).

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#16 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, her speach is very clear.  She is also very verbal for her age.  But sometimes she just says hi and that's it.  Most of the kids are her age or older so they should be able to say hi back. 

 

I think your suggestion to explain to her that some kids are shy and take some time to warm up is a good one  - thank you (and, no, I'd never say it in front of the other child). 


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#17 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 11:07 AM
 
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I know for us, my child's speech is very clear and easy to understand and I know in our case (since this has happened so often) these are children that are speaking the same language as my DS and this is happening to us with children in a large age range-4, 5's not just 2's.

 

 

 

Quote:
Why not? 

 

Are you stating that the majority of children are too busy (engaged, etc)?

 

 

I strong beg to differ with your assessment. It seems like this is the case with your child, I do not see this as relative to the majority, this is just not happening to my child or even just to the OP's-speaking IRL to other mom's this is occurring very often and it's clearly new.


 

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#18 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 11:10 AM
 
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Katc, my daughter(who just turned 3) is exactly, exactly the same. For the most part, when other children don't respond she just shakes it off, and goes to find another, more responsive playmate, or keeps playing and eventually the other kids will join in. If she does seem sad or upset, I'll explain that the other child doesn't want to play right now, or that sometimes kids are shy and might be afraid to talk to someone they don't know. I try not to frame it as kids not being nice, as that doesn't really clarify the situation for her.

 

I absolutely would not talk to or approach the other kid, unless they are being genuinely rude, mean or dangerous. The only exception to that is if they just don't quite understand what she's saying. Her vocabulary out does her pronunciation at times, and if the kids are just confused, I might translate, otherwise I leave the kids to sort it out on their own.

 

I wish we could get our kids together to play! It sounds like they'd get along fantastically!


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#19 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 11:36 AM
 
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how is this of any use? The OP talked about being out in public-playground, street etc.

just more social experience with observing and picking up on social cues... and just more experience that sometimes even friends will ignore us, but it is no big deal. She just sounds socially thirsty. A regular playgroup or homeschool group might work as well.

 

Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post


My daughter is the same way and she's also an only.  She would walk up, introduce herself, and ask the other child's name.  Blank stare.  Don't people teach their children basic manners?  It's just odd to me that a three year old can't say, "hi, I'm Jack."  I'm sure there are a few children with actual anxiety, but I think lots of people just don't teach their children how to be polite and function in a world that has other people in it. 
 

Wow. Just because the child doesn't respond the way you expect doesn't mean people don't teach their children manners. Children are children... not little adults. Just because you teach a child something doesn't mean they will do it in every instance... My kids can tie their shoes but they still walk around with their laces untied.. .

My 2 year old sits on our porch greets everyone who passes by--everyone! If they don't stop and talk to him, I don't assume they are rude, and it isn't hurtful to him...

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Sometimes she chooses to say "hi, my name is ..., what's your name."  Sometimes, it's just "hi".  And yes, if I was at a farmers market and an adult stranger shopping at the same table said hello or good morning, I would think it rude not to reply.  I think it's just common courtesy and I want to teach my daughter how to be courteous to others.  Saying hello in response isn't implying that we will have a conversation or become friends; it's just acknowledging another person, a member of my community.  That's how I was raised.  I'm not expecting the kids to want to play with her.  Nor am I trying to shield her from all life's pain.  I was looking for ways to either address the situation as it is happening or later, one-on-one with DD. 

 

I wish I could change the topic line of this thread to remove the word rude...

For what it is worth, I am highly introverted and often what is going on in my mind does distract me from other people's pleasantries... I will smile, and nod, but not always respond verbally. I doubt that will really make another person sad or think me rude... I am just not always chatty. LOL  But with adults there is usually other nonverbal cues that happen prior to the verbal communication. These are subtle and we probably take them for granted. Its been my observation that they don't always happen with children prior to the verbal interaction.

 

What is perceived as rude to adults isn't always rude to children.  I like Carlin's response-- sounds perfect.

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#20 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 11:38 AM
 
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I know for us, my child's speech is very clear and easy to understand and I know in our case (since this has happened so often) these are children that are speaking the same language as my DS and this is happening to us with children in a large age range-4, 5's not just 2's.

 

 

 

 

Are you stating that the majority of children are too busy (engaged, etc)?

 

 

I strong beg to differ with your assessment. It seems like this is the case with your child, I do not see this as relative to the majority, this is just not happening to my child or even just to the OP's-speaking IRL to other mom's this is occurring very often and it's clearly new.


Clearly new? Perhaps new to you? Have you been observing your 3 year-old having these kids of social reactions for more then 3 years? LOL  I have been a parent for 12 years and watched 4 very different children go through this... a lot of it depends on the child and how they cue the other child nonverbally, etc. 

I think our memory of how it was when we were children can be distorted, and what we thought it was like as kids isn't always how it was...


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#21 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 11:43 AM
 
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Clearly new? Perhaps new to you? Have you been observing your 3 year-old having these kids of social reactions for more then 3 years? LOL

 

 

you are very mistaken, I have been dealing with toddlers for 3+ years- over 40 in fact- this is not the case even 10 years ago! 


 

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#22 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 11:46 AM
 
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you are very mistaken, I have been dealing with toddlers for 3+ years- over 40 in fact- this is not the case even 10 years ago! 

 

My oldest son is 12. When he went through the stage where he had to greet and talk to everyone, some kids responded, some didn't. I haven't noticed a huge difference in the rate of response to my now 2 year old when he sits out on the porch and says hi to everyone! Or talks to everyone at school pick ups, parks, etc.

 

Some kids want to play with my 2 yo, some kids don't.

 

Again, I think adults often assume that everyone acted a certain way... but social norms are learned... some cultures find it rude to smile at strangers... is that terribly rude of them, then?

 

Politeness is a cultural norm, not a moral issue.

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#23 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 11:52 AM
 
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My 2.5 year old would likely respond because he likes it when kids come up to him, but my 5 year old is very shy, and would not.

 

Young children (yes, even an 8 year old, IMO) don't have the social tools to know how to respond in an adult-appropriate way when in social situations. So the ignoring and silence could be taken to mean ''I don't want to talk to you'', ''I'm too shy to respond'', or even ''don't bother me''. All perfectly valid and fine, and no, I don't think a child should be forced or made to say hi if they clearly don't feel compelled to do so. Your daughter will eventually get it that not everyone wants to be friendly to her, and she'll be just fine.

 

It is NOT a question of manners. It's a question of social development. 

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#24 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 11:55 AM
 
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My 2.5 year old would likely respond because he likes it when kids come up to him, but my 5 year old is very shy, and would not.

 

Young children (yes, even an 8 year old, IMO) don't have the social tools to know how to respond in an adult-appropriate way when in social situations. So the ignoring and silence could be taken to mean ''I don't want to talk to you'', ''I'm too shy to respond'', or even ''don't bother me''. All perfectly valid and fine, and no, I don't think a child should be forced or made to say hi if they clearly don't feel compelled to do so. Your daughter will eventually get it that not everyone wants to be friendly to her, and she'll be just fine.

 

It is NOT a question of manners. It's a question of social development. 


I agree with this... and grace and courtesy are learned behaviors. But just because they don't play out in every instance to our expectation doesn't mean that they are not being taught.


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#25 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 12:27 PM
 
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I agree with this... and grace and courtesy are learned behaviors. But just because they don't play out in every instance to our expectation doesn't mean that they are not being taught.

 

I agree.

 

My 7yo talks to everyone.  My 3yo wouldn't even talk to mine and my husband's best friends she has seen frequently since birth until recently.  I don't know why.  She was painfully shy and would hide from them.  Then after she turned 3, something clicked and she became much more outgoing, but is still very reserved around some people.  And she is now much more likely to strike up a conversation with an adult woman than a child her own age.  

 

My husband and I teach and model manners and politeness - but we can't force our kids to do everything they've been taught every time, nor would I want to.  I do want them to understand that not every stranger is a friend, and it's ok to be oneself and guarded if that's what's comfortable for them.


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#26 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 01:01 PM
 
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Hi.  You are very fortunate to have a verbal and social child at such a young age.  It sounds like she is really excelling with her development.

 

I recently had a conversation with another mom who was extremely upset because a mother brought her nine year old son into the women's bathroom to let him use it.  That nine year old could have had the functioning of a five year old .. and in the town I live in, the store security person at a Walmart was recently arrested for video taping a little boy in the stall next to him. 

 

I'll share the same thing with you that I shared with her ... sometimes our children LOOK perfectly "normal".  Sometimes, under that perfectly "normal" looking child is a developmental disability which isn't visible to the eye.   Anyway, Some brains process everything differently, some slowly, some brains don't have the ability to be social, some children cannot point, some are non verbal ... some wear the labels of pervasive developmental disability, autism, and others that are "not seen".  Sometimes a "disability" is obvious such as down syndrome or cerebral palsy ... but other times, these "disfunctions" ... are not visible.

 

In my life, it is often troubling and difficult to know WHAT to say to someone when they smile at my child, wave at my child, speak to my child ... and he doesn't respond.  Some BIG people are "rude" because before I get a chance to explain anything ... they say "why don't you teach your kid some manners". 

 

My child doesn't "speak when spoken to".  My child shuts down when approached by a stranger and he does this by having a blank stare and if they would push the issue or touch him ... then it turns into a scream.  We're in therapy and we're working on this.  He's not even TWO yet so we hold onto hope and prayers!

 

Anyway, this is NOT about us ... I just thought I'd share this so you could keep this in mind as your daughter meets different kids.  Hopefully some of them will respond positively to her.  I think the parents should at least speak to you and your child!  None of us are alike and even those with "disfunctions" are going to have some amazing gifts.  It sounds like she has some great social skills ... keep encouraging it!

 

Best wishes!

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#27 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 01:19 PM
 
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Out if my 3 kids that are older then 3, I have one that "might" respond to a child saying hi. And this is fairly recent, she is 9, as of two years ago she would not of. They are not rude, in fact I get complements daily on their behavior. The nine year old has social anxiety and now takes Zoloft and hence the reason she might say hi now that she is medicated. My 5.5 year old is just shy, she is never going to talk to a stranger regardless if they are a child or an adult. My 3 year looks normal but is ASD. He is only minimally verbal and gets downright aggressive if another child gets into his space, he stays off by himself for a reason.

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#28 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wish we could get our kids together to play! It sounds like they'd get along fantastically!
[/quote]

I'd love too! I'm in northern NJ. smile.gif

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#29 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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  I've never seen my DD ignore a child saying hi or an adult for that matter. She always says hi back.  And I have not ever told her how to react - my husband and I don't cue her to say hello or thank you, etc. - she does it on her own based on learning from us - we model the behavior and don't believe in forcing thank you's, etc.

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#30 of 84 Old 07-02-2012, 02:29 PM
 
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OP - if your dd is becoming somewhat distressed by other kids' reactions, what about brainstorming some other things to say AFTER her initial greeting.  Like 'It's a great day to be at the park isn't it?', 'This is my favorite park', 'Do you want to climb on this with me?'.  If she's seeking conversation or a playmate, a bit more than just 'hi' or introduction would help her get that across to someone else.

If she's just really enthusiastic about meeting people, even just 'I really love to meeting new kids at the park.  I just wanted to say hi since I'm having a lot of fun today'. 

 

As for what my own kids do, they might smile or say hi, or not (there are some park activities they get intensely into and don't like to be distracted about nut.gif, or some days aren't as into playing with other people).  I don't think the doing any one thing or not is or should be a problem.  It's just a case of other kids doing their own thing and your dd doing hers, and it really won't always jive.  Unless someone is being overtly rude, I don't think it's really about manners either.  

I mean, if I were at a coffeeshop doing my own thing and someone came up and was all 'Hi, what's your name?' I wouldn't always be enthusiastic about a new interaction with someone I don't know.  But sometimes I would be.  And that should be okay, yk?  

 

 

added:  I just glanced through the OP again, too.  In incidents when my dd's been approached by some other kid and is feeling timid, I often step in and will say that we're happy to meet you and not really in a mood to stop and talk/play right now.  Something like that.  I'd consider stepping in and say something like 'We love meeting other kids here, thanks for letting us say hi' in some cases if it seems appropriate.  

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